Like everything else, your website will start to show signs of its age over time. It is important to be aware of this and resolve to keep refreshing it every now and again to avoid the styling and conventions becoming outdated. If you fail to do this you could harm the user experience and send clients to competitors even if your website is well established.
As a general rule you should look to refresh your web design every 2-3 years or whenever large changes occur such as new technologies and features. You don’t need to dramatically overhaul the entire website each time, but little touches to make it look more modern will be appreciated.
It can be tricky to stay up to date with design trends and decide what to do with your website. A good tip if you are unsure is to look at competitors who are performing well and see how their site compares to yours in terms of the design and features. There is also likely to be a multitude of information on the internet too.
One popular design element that may be looking increasingly outdated at the moment is the image carousel. As we know visitors generally have a short attention span and don’t stay on sites long if they don’t find what they need quickly. If you use a slider with links to content it is likely that visitors are missing several of the slides so you may not get the performance you expect.
A big misconception with web design is that visitors don’t like to scroll. This has lead many a designer to cram information they feel to be relevant in the small space above the fold on each page. This technique can actually have the opposite effect because visitors don’t want poorly organised and presented content. They want space, clarity and an easy read, even if it means scrolling to continue reading. Designs should be looser, more fluid and less cramped. Yes, the area above the fold is important and should have the best content, but you can extend the sizes when you need to.
A major indication that your site is outdated is the images you use on it. Stock photos may have done the trick in the past but now you can spot them easily and they definitely don’t add to the user experience. Images should be more personal and reflect the unique character you want to present to your audience. Real photos will succeed where stock ones don’t and delight visitors.
Remember your web design reflects on you so you should treat it exactly as you would your wardrobe and keep it fresh. Our North East web developers and designers can help you to make sure your website stays eye catching and fresh so you can keep on giving your visitors what they want.